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The Green River region is located in southwestern Wyoming.  

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Coal tax change could cost Wyoming millions

October 23, 2011

A proposed simplification of the system that Wyoming uses to tax coal mining is being applauded by the mining industry, but could cost Wyoming taxpayers $16M over the next five years. The issue revolves around the way that the severance tax is computed; as mines increase their infrastructure, the severance tax levied by the state goes up. But as existing mines move West, the coal seams move deeper, which requires more mining infrastructure. So the mine owners must pay more taxes as it costs them more to mine the coal.

The proposed measure in front of the Wyoming legislature would base the tax solely on the price of coal and the amount of coal mined by the mine. In doing so, it’s expected that severance tax will drop by 6% as coal prices go up.

Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_c8ac63a9-885a-5fa5-96f7-04e8fb522d02.html

Deal would force coal-fired power plants in West to cut more pollution

June 19, 2011

A decade-old mandate to enforce the Clear Air Act for coal-fired power plants will require 18 plants in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming to install new technologies to reduce emissions and decrease haze in surrounding areas. Utilities had already reduced plant emissions over the last decade to decrease pollution in habitable areas, the new standards target old plants previously exempted from the Clean Air Act because they were grandfathered in, and are aimed at decreasing haze in 156 national parks, wilderness areas to much lower levels still. While many think of the endless vistas of the western states, in many places haze is a major problem that can decrease visibility by more than half.

The increased enforcement is a result of an agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and three other groups, and will become final if a federal judge approves it after a mandatory 30 day comment period. “We’re getting the low-hanging fruit and we expect huge reductions from that effort,” said Gail Fallon, an EPA haze program manager based in Denver. Similar agreements in the works for many more states.

Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_6eb579f8-9a88-11e0-8f2d-001cc4c002e0.html

Second BNSF track to help move coal

May 27, 2011

Burlington Northern Santa Fe has opened a new second set of tracks for its rail line through Grand Island, Nebraska. The $90M project will remove the largest remaining piece of single-track line in BSNF’s link between the coal mines of Wyoming and the coal’s destination in Kansas City and Chicago, and will allow BSNF to compete on a more level field with arch-rival Union Pacific in the lucrative coal hauling market.

Read article at http://www.theindependent.com/articles/2011/05/27/news/local/13423234.txt

Former Wyoming governor joins Arch Coal board

February 23, 2011

Dave Freudenthal, former governor of Wyoming, has been named to the board of Arch Coal. Arch mined 160M tons of coal last year, much of it in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and Green River regions. Freudenthal served two terms as governor and was very popular in the state, in spite being a Democrat in a strongly Republican state.

Read article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-23/former-wyoming-governor-joins-arch-coal-board.html

Wyoming clean-coal efforts advance

February 10, 2011

An infusion from state and national governments in 2010 resulted in the introduction of a long list of clean coal research projects in Wyoming, most of which are hybrid industrial/academic/governmental in nature. One, the High Plains Gasification-Advanced Technology Center, is a $100M research center for coal gasification and is a joint venture between GE Capital and the U of Wyoming that is designed to gasify up to 10 tons of coal per day once construction is completed in 2012.

Other projects include research on capturing carbon dioxide during coal combustion and its long-term underground sequestration, making more efficient cooling towers, and underground coal gasification, a technique where coal is heated up to very high temperatures while it is still underground so that it gives off natural gas.

Read article at http://trib.com/college/wyoming/article_6ad9f936-47aa-581e-8c6b-b771e9ae59cb.html

Chevron leaving U.S. coal industry

January 29, 2011

Chevron Corporation, has announced that it is divesting of all of its coal mining interests, stating that it fears that new technologies for burning coal in a clean fashion are just too far off to justify staying in coal. Chevron is seeking a buyer for its Kemmerer Mine in Wyoming and is close to selling its North River underground mine to Florida-based Walter Energy. Plans are less certain for the currently idle McKinley Mine in New Mexico, although the company is exploring selling the reclaimed land.

Read article at http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CHEVRON_COAL and http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chevron-leaving-us-coal-industry-2011-01-29

UP’s PRB coal train loadings climbed in November

December 7, 2010

Union Pacific is reporting a small increase in the number of coal-trains leaving the Southern Powder River Basin in November 2010, compared with the same period the year before (968 trains per day versus 939). During the same period, loadings in the Utah/Colorado region dropped from 245 to 189.

Read article at http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article/UP%E2%80%99s-PRB-coal-train-loadings-climbed-in-November–25200

State: No New Offers For Rock Springs Home Damage

November 26, 2010

The state of Wyoming has notified residents of Rock Springs that they will not be paid for damages the residents claim resulted from a mine reclamation effort gone bad. In 2007, a state contractor dropped 25 and 35 ton weights more than 2300 times in an attempt to collapse abandoned mine shafts so that the ground above them could be used for housing. An initial compensation offer to cover the damages was made by the state in 2008, but roundly rejected by most homeowners. A subsequent engineering report claimed that no new offers were appropriate, leaving residents without compensation. Fifteen Homeowners filed a lawsuit against the state in July. That lawsuit is now their only hope.

Read article at http://cbs4denver.com/wireapnewswy/Wyoming.AG.State.2.2024278.html

Coal Falls While Natural Gas Rises? Picture in Wyoming Is More Complicated.

New West Energy interviews Wyoming governor Dave Freudenthal who explains why he thinks that conventional wisdom is wrong about how utilities expansion into natural gas spells trouble for coal.

Read more at http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/coal_falls_while_natural_gas_rises_picture_in_wyoming_is_more_complicated/

Hiring more DEQ staff is best option for Wyoming – Casper Star-Tribune Online

Star-Tribune Editorial Board – Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The state of Wyoming has no time to waste in addressing its backlog of permit requests from the minerals industries. Too much tax revenue that could be potentially generated from approved projects is at stake to allow the permitting process to continue at its current slow rate.

Industry has consistently criticized state regulators for years over the backlog, which has gotten bigger as mineral production has significantly increased. Natural gas production in the Rocky Mountain region doubled to 8 billion cubic feet per day from 2002 to 2009, with Wyoming the top producer. During the same period, the state’s annual coal production increased by more than 15 percent to nearly 430 million tons.

Read more at http://trib.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_aab49483-e3ea-5121-97a7-69c5b33b2df1.html

Bonding Adequacy Oversight Report – Western Region – Dept of Interior – 2010

State by state survey of practices for bonding coal mines. Published July 8, 2010

/documents/bonding-adequacy-oversight-report-western-region-dept-of-interior-2010

MSHA Internal Audits, Region 9, 2010

Reports from MSHA Office of Accountability reviews of MSHA inspectors in region 9.

/documents/msha-internal-audits-region-9-2010

Bridger Coal Lease Modification – Finding of No Significant Impact – 2009

Modification of the Bridger Coal Lease WYW2727/WYW167727 to expand leased lands by 560 acres and to grant a right-of-way. WY-040-EA10-30.

Bridger Coal Lease Modification – Environmental Assessment – 2009

Modification of the Bridger Coal Lease WYW2727/WYW167727 to expand leased lands by 560 acres and to grant a right-of-way. WY-040-EA10-30.

Bridger Coal Lease Modification – Decision Record – 2009

Modification of the Bridger Coal Lease WYW2727/WYW167727 to expand leased lands by 560 acres and to grant a right-of-way. WY-040-EA10-30.

Casper Field Office – Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement – Vol 1 of 2 – 2007

An analysis of the proposed resource management plan for the Platte River land use plan. This includes 1.4 million acres of surface rights and 4.7 million acres of mineral rights.

/documents/casper-field-office-proposed-resource-management-plan-and-final-environmental-impact-statement-vol-1-of-2-2007